Do You Support the Writers Strike?

I’ll be honest with you.  As the talks of a possible strike emerged and then became a reality, I was a little miffed.  Why?  Because it was affecting  me and not very positively.  One of my favorite past times has come to a screeching halt.  The fates of my favorite characters have been left in limbo and my weeknights will soon be filled with reruns.

I don’t want this strike because I don’t want to lose my favorite TV shows (Want to know how your favorite show will be affected, check out this chart).  Selfish, I know.  But what can I say — I’m human.

In truth, I really haven’t ever given the writers much thought.  Not that they aren’t highly creative people incredibly skilled with the written word.  I just take them for granted.  When I think of TV shows, I think of the actors and actresses starring in them.  Occasionally, I might think of the executive producers when big changes happen to the show.  But I really only think of the writers when I find a continuity issue, holes in the plot or some other inhibitor to my viewing pleasure.  It’s not fair.  I know and I’m not particularly proud of it, but it’s true.

So it should be no surprise that, except for how it was affecting my life, I hadn’t really given the Writers Guild of America strike much thought.  Until recently.

I just read a blog entry by one of my favorite writers (okay, I think about them occasionally but not enough to be respectable) — Joss Whedon.  He was writing a response to some comments by New York Times reporters on the strike.  He was not only justifying writing as a real job, but commenting on how it’s not as easy as it looks.

“It’s necessary, though. We’re talking about story-telling, the most basic human need. Food? That’s an animal need. Shelter? That’s a luxury item that leads to social grouping, which leads directly to fancy scarves. But human awareness is all about story-telling. The selective narrative of your memory. The story of why the Sky Bully throws lightning at you. From the first, stories, even unspoken, separated us from the other, cooler beasts. And now we’re talking about the stories that define our nation’s popular culture – a huge part of its identity. These are the people that think those up. Working writers. ”
 

His comments gave me pause — and the thought of endless hours of reality TV.  As a writer myself (although just an amateur), I felt ashamed that I’d taken these writers so for granted.  Their jobs probably come with some cool perks, but I can’t imagine that it is easy.  And like any other job, I sure it has its highs and lows.

Over the last few days, we’ve heard lots of talk from Hollywood and New York.  We know which actors are crossing the picket lines and which aren’t.  But I’m actually more interested in what the average Joe thinks.  What are your feelings about the WGA strike?  Do you support the writers?  If you were in their shoes, what would you do and why? 

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17 Responses to Do You Support the Writers Strike?

  1. cn2007 says:

    I’m a writer as well, and up until this strike, I think I had taken writers for granted as well. It wasn’t intentional, and I greatly admire the craft of screenwriting… I just hadn’t realized how bad it was in Hollywood. Evidently there’s a serious problem here that has to be fixed.

    I definitely do support the strike, if only because it will help others understand how important writers are to telling the story.

    Feel free to visit my blog as I cover the WGA strike as well at intellitainment.wordpress.com!

  2. markdykeman says:

    I support the strike, if only so that writers get more recognition than they do today. Like you, I’m also an amateur writer, so I’ve only experienced about 2% of what these people go through day in, day out. So, more power to them!

  3. crackerbob says:

    I support the writers 100%; I blame the studios for my television depravation.

    Sadly, if I was in the writers’ shoes, I would probably roll over and take it. I don’t think I have the courage that they do.

  4. cn2007 says:

    I don’t think many people have the courage to stop payment, crackbob. 🙂 I don’t blame you for taking what you can get. Hopefully this sets a precedent so a strike isn’t necessary for any of the guilds and unions for a long time.

    And yes! Reruns and reality television are not a good mix. A new hobby may definitely be needed come January.

  5. vacelts says:

    I sure the writers appreciate all your support. How do you think this strike will change how television?

  6. vacelts says:

    Please, please no more reality TV!!!!

  7. […] I don’t actually see myself giving up one of my favorite past times.  At least until this strike hit.  But as my favorite TV shows go dark one by one, I find myself in quite a quandary.  So […]

  8. rcrawford79 says:

    Another strike. With the expansion of globalization, the increase in protection of worker rights over the last 50 years, strong copy right laws, and etc has the unions become obsolete in the 21st century. You could say that unions the catalyst to the down fall of the manufacturing sector of the United States. Do not listen to the Democratic it’s not globalization, but unions. Unions have held companies hostage with their high salary and life time employment demands which as caused many companies to cut back (layoffs), move overseas to find labor at a competitive wage, and/or go bankrupt. Several great examples are the Auto Industry, Airline Industry, and Textile industries. Unions are not 100% at fault, management and changing market conditions do play a key, but remember the biggest expense for any employer is salaries. When those salaries get push to point where it is not profitable for a business, the first thing to trim is employees. So, how does this relate to writers. Well, I may agree that writers may need to be compensated for “new” media markets, but that is what agents and contracts are supposed to take of. All this strike does is hurt the bottom line of the studios and producers. If the writers do win, this will cause a snowball effect next year when the actors/directors guilds contacts are up. Yeah you guessed it, another strike! Guess who will be paying for this increase in salaries and compensation to the various guilds? I will tell you it will not be studios or producers, but we the consumers through higher movie ticket prices, increase commercials on TV (less actual shows), and higher DVD costs. In the end, no one wins!

  9. BAM says:

    I completely oppose the writers strike! Labor groups are nothing but terrorist thugs. Because of this strike, thousands of “grunts” who make Hollywood work are getting laid off. They’ll not be able to pay college tuition, mortgages, etc. How many actors are going to come to the defense of these people, or offer to assist them financially?

  10. gemnoire says:

    I support the strike. No one wants to strike if they don’t have a good reason. Hollywood writers get a considerably worse deal than writers in other countries (the GBWG in the UK, for example, has managed to negotiate decent renumeration for both DVDs and internet sales without harming the production companies in the slightest). Writers are possibly the most important part of a show, without a script you don’t have any TV. Unfortunately, as is often the case in this situation, it’s easy to blame the writers because they’re the ones causing the disruption. But given the networks seem entirely unwilling to negotiate, what other choice do they really have? If they’d backed down, they’d never get anything.

  11. Meh says:

    #@*% them………. we have the internet, all these people make to much money anyways. If you don’t make shows then eventually WE will. Who really cares? we’ll all be over your stupid characters once something else comes along…….that’s right….. don’t forget there are thousands of people that will happily fill each and every one of your shoes. You don’t like it? Then go write at the unemployment office…….#@*% whing’ers

  12. Ray says:

    Hey guys-time to get paid for work accomplished and that be the end of all this ego stuff. These people are still living in the 30’s. Are we all saying that they are not paid a salary???????

  13. Maria says:

    A strike driven by greed.
    Thanks to this my 2 young girls are in for a cruddy Christmas because Daddy lost his job because of what is to going be a power play that lasts way too long.
    Selfish ACT!

  14. Ben says:

    I have always thought of writers as the most important part of any movie or show.
    Though I’m not a fan of the strike, I’m not overly fussed either way, all I’m left thinking is “I told you so”.

    Theres really nothing more that needs to be said.

  15. ROGER says:

    I KNOW IT WILL SCREW UP A LOT OF THE TV SHOWS I WATC BUT I TOTALY SUPPORT THE WRITERS STRIKE AND WILL RESPECT IT AS LONG AS IT LAST THEY ARE A VARY IMPORTANT PART OF ALL TV SHOWS AND HAVE BEEN GETTING SCREWED FOR A LONG TIME

    ROGER
    READER1980@AOL.COM

  16. Jay Hunter says:

    I support the writers and their strike. I don’t think they get a fair cut at all. Without good writing, there would be no “good” actors, because good actors need a good script so they can show their range and depth.

    The most integral part to a show is the writing. Look at the sitcom Joey. It had all the media attention, audience and financial backing. But the writing and characters were terrible. So it died. Without proper scripts, situations and characters, it all falls down.

    Names and money will get you so far, but you’ll not get 10 seasons out of it.

    Buy the way, i’m not a writer, i’m a medical student. i watch a couple of shows and i really enjoy them. you can’t substitute good writing.

    I really hope the writers get all and more than what they’re asking for. shame on the companies that hired them for giving them a raw deal.

    JKH

  17. Julia says:

    I think the writers do deserve their fair share of internet revenues. If the studio makes money off the internet, then the writers should get a percentage of that and right now they get nothing.

    HOWEVER, I am tired of unions holding the rest of the world hostage. Union demands are crippling to the overall economy. Unions want to make their own lives cushy at the expense of others.

    Can’t we negotiate without a strike? Has it ever occurred to the unions that their behavior makes companies want to make it more difficult for them? They’re so obnoxious — I mean, I know I wouldn’t want to cave to their demands at the snap of their fingers. I think the studios would probably be more likely to come to a fair agreement if the unions didn’t breed such entitlement.

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